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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Mar 15, 2011 12:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear "accident"

This Could Become Chernobyl on Steroids

Unit One was the first reactor to explode over the weekend. The second reactor, which is Unit Three, exploded the next day. Yesterday, the third reactor which is Unit Two exploded — so, Units One, Two and Three now have all had hydrogen explosions.

These are not nuclear explosions. They are hydrogen chemical explosions. The hydrogen exists because the fuel has become very hot. These extreme temperatures cause the fuel rods to become very corrosive. Enormous amounts of hydrogen gets created.

The biggest problem seems to be in the second reactor, where the containment appears to be ruptured. The reactor may be damaged from this explosion. So the explosion yesterday was the most severe.

The most telling issue is that the site has been evacuated. There were 800 people on the site, and then they evacuated all but 60 people. That’s basically telling the crew to "man the lifeboats".

In the fourth unit, there was a fire in the fuel pool. There are unconfirmed reports that it has started back up again. In the fifth and six units, the fuel pools are getting warmer. (The water coolant is heating up.)

So, basically, three units are in meltdown condition. One is definitely worse than the other two. But, you know, "meltdown" and "worse" are relative terms. It’s very bad in three units. The fire in the fourth unit is also a serious concern.

Small amounts of radiation have been detected in Tokyo, which is not a problem, yet. Thank goodness. If there is any goodness coming out of this, it’s that the wind is blowing out to sea right now. If the wind were to shift inland, I think we’d have a different situation.

And the last thing is that the emergency zone, out to 20 kilometers, people have been told to leave. And out to 30 kilometers, people have been told to stay indoors, wash your clothes when you come in, wash your body if you go outside and come back in. I think that’s not enough. I really think that emergency planning needs to be upgraded. At the least, children in that zone should be sent elsewhere.

-- Arnie Gundersen, nuclear engineer

Tokyo's weather forecast at this time is predicting Wind ESE 9 mph for Monday night.

Westerly winds means the radioactive fallout is blowing off-shore. Easterly winds means the radioactive fallout is blowing on-shore -- INTO the population. NNE winds would be worst case, blowing radioactivity directly into Tokyo.

Again, we DO NOT YET KNOW the extent of this Nuclear Crisis. No one knows! We do know it's getting worse, not better.

Dangerous levels of radiation are leaking into the atmosphere following a fire and explosions at a nuclear plant in northeastern Japan, officials warned on Tuesday as the country reels in the wake of last week's devasting earthquake and tsunami.

Radiation levels around the Fukushima No.1 plant on the eastern coast had "risen considerably", Naoto Kan, the prime minister said, and his chief spokesman announced the level was now high enough to endanger human health.

The UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency on Tuesday upgraded the crisis to a level-6 "serious accident" on its 1-7 scale of nuclear incidents. The Chernobyl meltdown in 1986, considered the world's worst nuclear disaster, was a grade-7 incident.

But the IAEA's Japanese chief, Yukiya Amano, moved to calm global fears that the situation could escalate further. "Let me say that the possibility that the development of this accident into one like Chernobyl is very unlikely," he said.

I've noticed that Tokyo's weather forecast has changed in the past 24 hours. The Wind Directions -- that are forecast 3 days out and longer -- these predictions are changing substantially.
latest Tokyo forecast


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Poster: utopian Date: Mar 15, 2011 1:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

This is for real and has alot of californians on edge.
I may he driving to Colorado soon.

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Mar 15, 2011 2:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

Save yourself the trouble utopian. You will get more radiation exposure on your drive to Colorado than you will from the remnants of any conceivable plume from Fukushima Diichi.

This article has some significant technical shortcomings.

I am in no way saying that what is happening at Fukushima Daiichi isn't a significant reactor accident. It is. It will also be relatively closely confined to the immediate surrounding area. The amount of material released so far will be dispersed and diluted before reaching the west coast. It will be detectable, but will pose a very slight risk. Fukushima Daiichi is a tropospheric event. The amount of burning at Chernobyl lofted radioactive material into the jet stream because of the scale of the burning. Chernobyl was far beyond what could happen at Fukushima Daiichi because of some very stark differences in reactor design.

It's not Chernobyl on Steroids, it's not even Chernobyl on Tampax.

Chernobyl was a graphite moderated pile construction. Graphite burns. For those of you trying to connect the dots, here's an important safety tip.

Don't use flammable material when constructing reactor moderators.

Chernobyl had radiation and contamination levels that were almost unbelievable. During the initial response to the casualty at Chernobyl, one of the tactics to regain some semblance of control was to have helicopters dump tons of sand and lead directly onto the exposed and burning molten core fuel matrix and moderator mix. There were several instances where the initial pilots flew in, hovered over the core, dumped their sand and died of acute radiation poisoning before they were able to land their helos.

Fukushima Diaiichi is bad, but to compare it to Chernobyl in terms of severity and spread of contamination is grossly misleading at best.

FWIW, the amount of incorrect and inaccurate info flooding from the news outlets and MSM is astounding. Be careful when formulating an action plan based on what you are hearing from "experts" like Soledad O'Brien and Anderson Cooper.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Mar 15, 2011 5:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

Thank you for hipping us to this information Mr. Submarine guy!

Were you in charge of the reactor on your ship, or do you just know this from being onboard?


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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Mar 15, 2011 5:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

Cliff -

Personal, hands on experience. I was the Chief Refueling Engineer on one ship, a Shift Engineer at a shore-based training reactor in Saratoga Springs on another tour. Over the course of my career, I was a qualified nuclear engineer, certified to supervise and conduct the operation and maintenance of 4 different types of submarine nuclear power plants.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Mar 15, 2011 6:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

Cool, thanks again for the lesson!

I was afraid that the reactor cores were going to melt through the earth and come out in South America ;)

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Mar 15, 2011 3:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

Correct me if i am wrong but Chernobyl also had no outer containment so once it blew, everything was in the open. This is more like TMI on steroids as there are more reactors involved but there is also outer containment that has not been breached.

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Mar 15, 2011 4:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Update, Retracted Statement and an Apology...

TMI 'roid rage is pretty accurate.

Chernobyl had no containment in the sense that Boiling Water Reactors like the Fukushima Daiichi complex do, but that is also consistent with graphite moderated reactor design. Ironically, Chernobyl was triggered by a reactor accident drill that went awry.

As far as containment at the Fukushima Daiichi plants.....

I don't have any hard data or sources to confirm, but I suspect the primary containment boundary of the #2 reactor has been compromised to the degree that far more radioactive material is coming from this reactor than the others.

This is a pretty bad situation, yet as bad as it is, it could still get worse.

And I have to be honest for all of you here - I need to retract my harsh indictment of Arnie Gunderson in an earlier post by Monte. I just got finished watching a BBC segment he was speaking on and I was wrong concerning his experience and qualifications. He knows what he is talking about.

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Poster: boltman Date: Mar 15, 2011 8:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

Thank you. Brother-in-law in Japan who is most concerned. Am trying to give him accurate information. Anything you provide is valuable. As an American who wasn't raised with Japanese cultural imperatives, he isn't as trusting as his Japanese wife and is finding it hard to trust info from anybody.

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Mar 16, 2011 8:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

bolt -

Not to sound alarmist, but your BIL needs to be ready for a worst case scenario unfolding - that being a combination of:

1. A breach of core pressure vessel integrity allowing a compromised fuel matrix to be exposed to the environment. there is no doubt in my mind that the fuel has been damaged - whether it is a full meltdown or partial meltdown or blistering/rupturing of the fuel plate cladding really doesn't matter. What that does is expose very highly radioactive fission fuel products, fission by-products and activated fuel matrix compounds - stainless steel, carbon, inconel, etc. - to be exposed outside of normal fuel assembly boundaries. A meltdown or partial meltdown that is still contained within an intact core pressure vessel is relatively okay. But when the core pressure vessel integrity is compromised, damaged molten fuel can spill out. The immediate risk here is loss of shielding and subsequent high radiation levels which greatly complicates accident casualty control reponse. You could actually have pockets of criticality or supercriticality as the molten fuel slag rearranges itself into geometries that support sustained neutron generation and self-sustaining criticality. If the molten mix gets into the ground the immediate high radiation concerns still exist, but now you have to contend with the long term environmental impact - contamination of groundwater and eventually, concentration of various radioactive compounds into the food chain.

2. A fire involving the consumption of radioactive material - a possible scenario in unit #4 (possibly others) if the spent fuel storage pools are drained and the spent fuel can't be cooled. There are a lot of unknowns here - we don't know how much spent fuel is stored in the pools, how long the fuel has been stored and what the plant's operating history was prior to shutdown and fuel assembly removal. The longer the fuel has been in the storage pools the better. Most of the post shutdown high decay heat generation is gone within 100-120 days. There are several reports that the spent fuel in unit #4 was removed no earlier than 30 November when a regular refueling maintenance shutdown occurred. That puts us at 111 days maximum. Not ideal, but not bad - decay heat generation will be low. The problem is if the storage pools are losing water. Then the problem compounds - you have overheating fuel because the cooling water is gone AND even more significant, a loss of shielding and resultant high radiation levels. If water levels can't be restored, the spent fuel will heat up - how hot is dependent on a lot of variables, but in a worst case scenario, the spent fuel could melt, and possibly get hot enough to ignite surrounding materials. This would pump a lot of radioactive material into the air that could then be distributed by weather.

3. Winds anywhere from the north, easterly around to the south. Such weather would blow radioactive contaminants back onto land complicating immediate response with a considerable long term environmental impact. The best we could hope for is a nice high pressure to sit on top of Japan with continuous westerly winds blowing the whole mess out over the Pacific.

4. Any of the 3 events above by themselves complicate the current existing situation. Any combination of them is exponentially worse. The worst case scenario is if all three were to happen - and that remains a possibility.

I don't know where you BIL is, but having the following on hand allows him and his family to react quickly and add some degree of safety:

1. Enough fresh water and food so they don't have to go outside and get either food or water for a minimum of 1 week.
2. Some form of respiratory protection - even if is just a crude mechanical filtration like the masks so commonly seen in Japan.
3. Potassium iodide (KI) tablets in the event Iodine 131 is confirmed. KI saturates the thyroid with non-radioactive iodine which will prevent the uptake and concentration of I-131 in the thyroid which can cause thyroid cancer and other health issues. Check with your doctor before taking KI tablets - iodine supplements should only be taken in dosages consistent with recommended allowances, around 1100 mcg for an adult, less if you are younger, and exceeding this level can cause downstream health problems. This applies to a large dose OR a long term exposure to elevated doses. There are also several health conditions and medicine courses that are not compatibile with KI tablet consumption. Hypothyroidism and some high blood pressure meds fall into this risk category.
4. Some ability to seal his house/apartment if they can't leave. Duct tape, poly sheeting, etc. Turn off heating or cooling ventilation and wait it out.

I am stating the obvious, but the best thing is to not be where the plume was, is or is going. The reality is that some people don't have the ability to leave. The above measures are a bare minimum suggestion of some preparations that your BIL should do NOW, no matter where they live.

If you think I should make this a main thread topic I will be happy to repost for the benefit of anyone interested. It most certainly isn't Dead related, but I'm kind of going with the benevolent spirit approach that the community shares.

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Poster: boltman Date: Mar 16, 2011 9:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

Thank you. We call every night at 8pm our time and I will make sure he knows. I do think you should repost for all...don't know if/how it will be received, but yes it is important.

He lives at the base of Mt. Fuji (Fujiyoshida), SW of Tokyo.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Mar 16, 2011 10:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

Any word yet from your friends?

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Mar 16, 2011 10:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

They left for Nagoya yesterday and are safe - for the moment. As long as the winds stay predominantly from the west, that is about as good as it can be for all of Japan.

Thanks for your concern......

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Mar 16, 2011 8:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

This was just FWD to my e-mail box from Transition Fort Collins. I hope this helps...


I am being flooded with requests about what mushrooms can do to help prevent damage from radioactivity. There is a lot of confusion, and not surprising, given the rapidly changing circumstances.

First, I think it is important not to exploit this disaster. The Japanese are the victims; we in North America are not.

Realistically, the radioactivity from the failure of the Japanese reactors poses virtually no significant threat to us here in North America. The plume will fan out and disperse before reaching our shores. Still not good, especially for those in close proximity.

This is a HUGE tragedy and puts into focus why nuclear power plants are not safe despite all the assurances. My father was a nuclear engineer, and the spent fuel storage issues (some of which are heating up now, by the way) are something about which he personally had concerns. The threat is significant for those people near the reactors and directly off the Japanese coastline. The drop off in radiation will be more than an inverse square of distance, which is huge considering the distance, before reaching western North America.

That being said, mushrooms do help prevent oxidative stress damage from free radical exposure induced by radiation. Moreover, the melanin in mushrooms (the pigment that makes your skin darken due to light exposure), has the propensity to bind radioactive isotopes into less toxic forms, making them insoluble, so they can be partially purged. However, the studies of which I am aware are not based on human trials - these are lab based, so there is lots of room for speculation here. I doubt if mushrooms can help purge radioactivity once it is in the blood stream.

BUT, some mushrooms hyper accumulate radioactive compounds, and stimulate their growth ! So, yes, I would ingest mushrooms from North America to help augment your immune system. No, I would not eat mushrooms from near the fall-out in Japan, or anywhere near polluted areas, since they concentrate heavy metals, with cesium being one of them.

Do not panic.

Consume mushrooms grown in clean, unpolluted environments to help your immune system.

Cheers !

Paul Stamets

ps: See references in Mycelium Running: Files too large to attach.

Business: 360-426-9292 Fax: 360-427-5861

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Poster: boltman Date: Mar 16, 2011 9:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

Thanks - greatly appreciated. I will let him know. Frustrating as he has no internet, little power (rolling blackouts) and tends to stress on the best of days!

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Mar 16, 2011 8:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

Another thank you for the very detailed and rational explanation of why we shouldn't be acting like a pack of paranoid lemmings.

And as for Mr. Cooper, like Monte says, he is a joke. He has practiced that hard, serious looking face while delivering what most of the time is useless drivel. I have pretty much given up on any network news. Even PBS can at times annoy me. It seems they are truly happiest when telling you how, when and where you will die. Soledad can't keep the shit eating grin off her face while reporting the current death toll in Japan.

I give more kudos to the Daily Show than any of the network excuses.

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Mar 15, 2011 3:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

Re: Be careful when formulating an action plan based on what you are hearing from "experts" like Soledad O'Brien and Anderson Cooper.

Thank You! for chiming in.

CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC, NBC, and CBS are all bad sources. Like you said, Anderson Cooper is the worst. He's pathetic, and he's getting on more and more channels. He's pushing Reality TV bullshit harder than anyone. All his BS programming gets turned into re-runs that go on and on repeating and re-running.

Anderson Cooper's Reality TV shows are actually "fake-live" crap that's being feed onto CNN newschannels. He makes me vommit. He's a dirty slut!

DemocracyNow! is an alternative source. Their in-depth newshour program is highly regarded. It stands on its own merits. Their content is usually well-vetted. All their online content has been transcribed. It is searchable, downloadable with file derivatives, and streamable. No Spam.

Al-Jazeera English is another good news source. They have very good news packages on their web site. I recommend them. You can livestream the Al Jazeera English News Program here. No Spam. Live News streaming here 24/7/365.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Mar 15, 2011 6:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

Democracynow's headline at the moment says "This could be Chernobyl on steroids."

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Poster: splue Date: Mar 15, 2011 1:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: update thread -- Japan's Nuclear 'accident'

the earlier explosions were *just* the containment shield thingies that recollect the steam----if they can get more water 2 it all is not lost!!!!! remember the cores will never explode 4 reasons i do not understand but thank god

yeh, maybe the Archive & all of groovy Calif. should relocate to Kansas City 2 b safer 4 the future!!!!

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